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YouTube acknowledges foreign countries

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Updated Last week, it was Flickr. This week, it’s YouTube.

Following in the footsteps of Yahoo!’s Web 2.0 poster-child, which just announced versions of its photo-sharing service in seven new languages, Google’s video-sharing outfit has unveiled localized versions in nine new countries, including Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK.

"Video is universal, and the incredible variety of the international content that we see on YouTube confirms just that!" exclaims Sakina Arsiwala, YouTube’s international manager, in a post to the YouTube blog. "In the spirit of serving our communities better, we are tailoring the YouTube experience to speak your language."

On each of these new YouTube sites, she explains, all content is translated into the local tongue. We weren't quite sure what that meant for the Ireland and UK, so we asked the company for clarification. "Ireland and UK users will both see English-language versions of YouTube," said a company spokesperson.

The sites also include country-specific video rankings, search functions, user comments, and browse pages. “We're extremely excited to be offering YouTube in the languages of so many of our users, since it allows people to express themselves and unite around interesting, relevant videos,” Arswala continues. “We're looking forward to seeing communities develop between people in their local communities as well as among people around the world.”

The company would not say how many people are using YouTube in the nine countries where these new sites have been launched.®

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